Mount Gerizim Missionary Baptist Church

One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism. 

Our History

We've loved every minute of our journey

Humble Beginnings

The Mount Gerizim Missionary Baptist Church was founded and organized by the Reverend Jack E. Watkins on Sunday October 7, 1977, in the chapel of the Brooks Funeral Home, located at 2043 Cleveland Avenue in Columbus, Ohio.

The first sermon was taken from John 3:16 “God so loved the World.”    Approximately fifty people were in attendance at that first service.  Ten believers joined this religious body:    Graty T. Smith, who became the first trustee of the church, John Slacum, Barbara Beatty, who became the first church organist,  Gina Kelli, Julie Beatty, Oscar Watson, Charles Napper, Sharon Napper, Elijah Talbert and Sis. Eleanor Watkins, the first lady. 

The Building Fund

Many gifts were provided by other churches in support of Mt. Gerizim.  The first communion was presented by Brother Sheldon Lee from the Praises in Melody and the Lee family in memory of  Reverend L.S. Dudley Lee, Jr., who was a life-long friend of Rev. Watkins.

The church had many barbecues, bake sales, dinners and various other activities in the spring of 1978 and 1979.  These activities were held for the support of the building fund. The first Family Day was held in July of 1978 at the Highbanks Metro Park in Delaware County beginning with breakfast and morning services, then followed with a day of family activities

Praise & Worship

Several talented musicians, including Bro. Sonny Adams of the Macedonia Baptist Church, Bro. Pete Jones and Sis. Joyce Mead, came on many occasions to assist the newly-formed choir in singing songs of praise and worship.

A New Building

On October 14, 1979 at 10 a.m. a motorcade was formed at the Brooks Funeral Home and we journeyed to our new home located at 2633 Mock Road, Columbus, Ohio.  Here the Pastor, Trustees, Deacons, choir, members and well wishers marched into a wonderful service which was enjoyed by all.

The first Deacon of the Church was John E. Wright and the first Deaconess was Madeline Milligan. The Temporary Treasurer and Trustee was Sheldon D. Lee.  The first Minister to be ordained was Rev. Paul R. Crosby. 

Mortgage Burning

The Mortgage Burning took place in October of 2004.

New Beginnings 

Pastor Emeritus Jack E. Watkins retired in March of 2006, and Rev, Clifford R. Riley, formerly one of our Assistant Ministers,was installed as Pastor on May 14, 2006. .

All in all, Mt. Gerizim Missionary Baptist Church can be credited with the truth--that it was not a split from any other church, nor did any other church by its existence come by to set up this church.  It was then a gift from God and today yet is a gift of God.  Let us remember some of the famous words of the Apostle Paul, an inspired believer of Jesus Christ when he said,  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”